Six of One

I have an affinity for hybrids of technology and nature, whether in art or engineering. There was the Coniferous Clock made of cedar, fresh and green in spring, brown and withered in winter, that told a simple tale of a year’s passing. Here’s a new take on using plants in a sleek design: The CityTree,…

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Hoarfrost Quietude

Throughout winter, our little village can often be found directly on the fog line of the milky blanket that covers the Geneva basin for weeks at a time. We are just high enough in altitude (490 m/1600 ft) to catch a glimpse of blue above, not quiet high enough to see out over the fog itself.…

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A Different Hourglass

I’ve been looking at images of Aboriginal Australian artists from Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Museum exhibition called Marking the Infinite, portraits of a sense of time and space outside our second and minute-marked world – and then I found this post in my drafts from a few weeks ago, the small echo of a sunny…

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End of Year Buzz

Everyone’s talking about the unseasonable weather. Too hot, too cold, no snow, too much rain. Here in eastern France, after a glorious autumn and then a first snowfall that was properly timed and then quickly melted, it’s been warm. So warm, in fact, that a few of the bees under the eaves left their protective…

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Sparse Harvest

  Here’s the bounty from the garden fig tree this year:   Granted, it’s not from the generous old tree we had for fifteen years, the one that didn’t make it through a transplant followed by a harsh cold snap a couple of years ago. The fig newbie managed a decent harvest last year; probably…

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Furrows of Unseen New

The cold weather is settling in these days, and no matter how long or hot the summer was, it looks like we will still get a real winter as its counterbalance. The lush leaves of summer are falling on empty fields and it’s that season of bleak acceptance that it will be a while before…

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Dog Days

We’re in the middle of a significant heat wave here in eastern France – the French call it la canicule, a word which has at its root a reference to a celestial body other than the sun. Between July 3 and August 11, the star Sirius rises almost in conjunction with the sun – and…

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A Whisky Woman and a Spring Cordial

I finally bottled a batch of elderflower cordial yesterday, after letting the brew steep for a couple of days and then rest in the fridge until I got around to cooking it up. One of the bottles I used – I’d actually saved it for use as a cordial bottle – reminded me of a…

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Shady Ladies and Elderflower Cordial

A small herd of new cattle appeared along my running path a few weeks ago, several cows and a single bull. All of them have thick, dark red hair that tufts up in waves like a field of wheat in the wind. And within a short time, there were small calves. They graze in a…

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Telling the Bees

Many cultures have customs relating to bees, animals that have long been highly valued, if little understood. After all, bees work hard all year, they pollinate many of our favorite foods and enable agriculture, they provide honey, and they don’t ask for much except to be left to toil in peace. I found out today…

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